Art lovers who know The Scream, that haunting painting of a shrieking figure underneath an orange sky, know Edvard Munch. The Norwegian Expressionist painter and printmaker was gripped by psychological themes that informed the German Expressionism school, and The Scream, from 1893, is perhaps his most famous work exemplifying this brooding predilection for exploring the soul’s deeper layers. But there is more to discover in his canon. At the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Edvard Munch: Color in Context (through January 28) examines the artist against a backdrop of 19th-century science developments. Advances in physics and electromagnetic radiation theory led Munch to think differently about the physical and spiritual realms, and the 21 prints on view reveal his shifting ideas. Each one is moody and flaunts evocative hues. For an additional burst of Norwegian culture, attend the gallery’s New York Opera Society event (September 24), the world premiere staged reading of Letters from Ruth by Gisle Kverndokk, based on the diaries of Norwegian poet Gunvor Hofmo’s lover who was killed at Auschwitz. While on the grounds of the gallery, make sure to check out Alexander Calder’s striking 76-foot mobile—his last major piece—fashioned from aluminum honeycomb panels and hollow tubes.
Madonna, Edvard Munch, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Epstein Family Collection
Featured Photo: Man’s Head in Woman’s Hair, Edvard Munch, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection